We grew up hearing our lolas say there isn’t an ailment in the world that a good hilot can’t fix. Well, times have changed and now there’s a host of exciting treatments to mend our tired, ailing minds and bodies. Naturally, we had to try them for ourselves.
Chiara de Castro
Carmen del Prado
In the most literal sense of the phrase, float therapy caters to the desire to get away from it all. Floating serenely atop 200 gallons of water, you see nothing, hear nothing, and feel nothing but the water gently lapping at your skin. But while terms such as “sensory deprivation tank” or “isolation therapy” can be intimidating, there’s absolutely nothing intimidating about the way each float session is facilitated by Float Manila, the brainchild of Ben and Jeng Paulson. Essentially, what they’re providing is 90 minutes of unadulterated time. Whether you spend all that time ruminating inside their spacious pod, or spend some time out in the private room that houses it, is all up to you. Float Manila assures that you are within full control of your space; lights on, off, that’s your choice. But if you’ve ever wondered what it was like to float around in outer space, then this is the closest you will come to it. If you close your eyes, it’s like being alone in the universe; just you and your own thoughts, a prospect that can be both daunting and liberating at the same time.
It was an excruciating wait until it wasn't, until it started making sense to me that this was my space. That's when you start letting go.
When you enter the chamber, the drop in temperature triggers your survival instincts and I started to think of excuses to get out.
The idea of standing inside a chamber that’s been “chilled” to –130 degrees Celsius, clad in nothing but your underwear and a pair of boots for three minutes sounds daunting, even ridiculous, to the unordained. Surely, such a nerve-jolting endeavor must have a litany of life-changing health benefits; why on earth would anyone subject themselves to such discomfort? Those who do sign up for the three-minute freezing session are likely looking to speed up their body’s recovery from injuries, get pain relief for inflamed muscles and chronic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, have a boost of energy and endorphins, as well as reduce anxiety. Stripping away all the technology, cryotherapy ultimately means cold treatment, the same logic as applying ice or cold compress to the body to provide relief for inflamed or injured muscles.
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